Frank Ridderbusch

About things, that are of interest to me (in English and in German).

Serial connection for Odroid

Recently, I purchased an Odroid C2 board with the intention to replace my current Odroid C1 board. The C1 is currently in use as my constantly running micro home server. The C2 builds upon the ARM A53 architecture, which is 64bit as compared to the 32bit A7 architecture of the Odroid C1. The C2 has 2Gb of RAM and the CPU runs at 2GHz.

As with the C1 board, I wanted to setup the C2 board with Arch Linux ARM. Try as I may I couldn’t get the installed µSDHC card to boot. The Hardkernel provided Ubuntu 16.04 booted just fine, however. So, it was time for some extra debugging. Hence, the need to connect to the serial console of the Odroid C2.

Serial connection to Odroid

Hardkernel provides an appropriate USB-UART kit with the fitting connectors. Ordering it direct from Hardkernel would have cost me nearly $26, $16 for shipping alone. Unfortunately the German Hardkernel distributor doesn’t offer this particular component.

I turned to Amazon to buy an alternative USB serial converter. I choose this device also sporting a CP2104 chip for the USB-UART adaptation: WINGONEER CP2104. Another good option would have been the WINGONEER CH340G. These components sell for only €8. In the end quite a bit cheaper. The CP2104 and CH340G chips are a bit more versatile compared to the older CP2102 and are preferable.

See the picture on the right on how I connected the signals lines from the converter to the Odroid board (click on it to see a larger version). It is important to note, that with the shown view, the right most, unconnected pin is #1. The right most pin is #4 (GND), connected to the brown wire.